Salesforce.com takes a cue from Amazon's Mayday with 'SOS' for service

The help feature can be embedded into any native iOS or Android application

Inspired by Amazon.com's Mayday, Salesforce.com has created a new customer-service feature called SOS.

Inspired by Amazon.com's Mayday, Salesforce.com has created a new customer-service feature called SOS.

Salesforce.com was so impressed by the Mayday customer support feature that Amazon.com rolled out for its Kindle Fire HDX tablets that it's now working to create its own version.

Mayday allows HDX users who find themselves stumped to simply touch a button and be connected to a support representative via video chat. The upcoming Salesforce1 Service Cloud SOS provides an SDK (software development kit) that companies can use to embed a similar button into any native iOS or Android mobile application, said Larry Robinson, vice president of product management.

Companies using SOS, however, would have to be subscribers to Salesforce's Service Cloud customer-service software.

The integration provides an added benefit, since representatives who answer an SOS call will have the customer's history of interactions in front of them, pulled from the Service Cloud system, Robinson said.

The SOS button can be "dynamic," meaning companies can set parameters on when it's active, he said.

For example, the button could automatically be turned off if no support agents are available at a certain time. Alternatively, it's possible to set a threshold, such as keeping a button active if the expected wait time is less than a minute.

Companies could also choose to make the SOS button available depending on the customer and situation. For example, an online retailer might restrict its availability to shoppers whose carts contain more than US$1,000 in purchases.

SOS's video feed is purposely low-bandwidth to ensure it will work on both 3G and 4G networks, Robinson said.

Beyond video and audio, SOS will also allow service representatives to annotate customers' device screens, such as by circling a key piece of data on a support web page.

Pricing for SOS has not been finalized. A beta is planned for June with a general availability launch early next year, according to Robinson.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesCustomer Relationship Managementamazon.comapplicationsSalesforce.comsoftwaremobileIT managementcloud computinginternetconsumerization of ITmobile applications

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?